"Weaklings! Is there no one worth fighting?"
"You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!" Capcom U.S.A.'s untranslated winning quote of Ryu's led some Street Fighter II aficionados to believe Sheng Long was the name of an actual opponent, not Ryu's "Dragon Punch" attack. Electronic Gaming Monthly exploited fan speculations in an April Fool's issue, complete with pseudo-screenshots and pro-inclined details on how to earn them, boosting coin-op sales. Only when Super Street Fighter II Turbo came out did the joke become real. Those who reached M. Bison virtually unscathed found a swarthy muscleman pop out of nowhere, pummel the dictator, and challenge the player. His name is Akuma, and his name means Demon.
Clad in a black gi, prayer beads wreathed around his neck, the fiery brawler rises hand and fist above others in speed and health bar poundings. Consumed by the Satsui no Hadou — literally, the Surge of the Intent to Murder — Akuma takes Ryu and Ken's Ansatsuken martial arts to the "kill your opponent to win" extreme it was feared to go. At his command is a move known as the Shun Goku Satsu — the Raging Demon. Akuma rushes his opponent for a grab, then the screen draws a blank amidst a flurry of beats and brawls of unknown nature. A murder instant later he stands over his fallen opponent, the "heaven" kanji on his back glowing red.
Only the purest and swiftest can avoid this unholy death. It is these rare warriors that Akuma seeks to battle, for to win means to come one step closer to unchallenged omnipotence.
Selected game appearances
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo (1994)
- X-Men: Children of the Atom (1994)
- Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams (1995)
- Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996)
- Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (1997)
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998)
- Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future (1999)
- Street Fighter IV (2008)
- Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (2010)
Neo Geo Pocket Color
- SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash (1999)
- SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom (2003)
- Super Street Fighter IV (2010)